'PM mulling probe into Batla encounter'

Raking up a dying controversy, Union HRD minister Arjun Singh on Tuesday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “personally favoured” a probe into the Batla House shootout, triggering speculation that a probe could indeed be imminent. 

On September 19, last year the Delhi Police had gunned down two alleged Indian Mujahideen terrorists in the Capital’s Muslim suburb of Batla House, sparking allegations that “innocent students” had been killed.

Singh, who commented on the sidelines of the annual meet of state minority commissions here, said: “It’s best to make things clear when so many people have raised doubts. The PM is thinking over the issue.” He said he had discussed the need for a probe with the PM but refused to give details.

The HRD minister, known to dig up old controversies, may have landed the PM in a spot again by putting the ball in his court on a sensitive issue, a senior Congress leader said.

Several senior Congress leaders like Digvijay Singh and Kapil Sibal had demanded a judicial probe.

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind advisory board member SQR Illyasi, one of the many who want a probe, said: “On the one hand, the Congress gives the impression that its senior leaders feel the need for a probe. On the other, the government has rejected the demand. This is doublespeak.”

 

 

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